A fall dusting hints that winter is coming to the high country at Charlia Pass in the Buckhorn Wilderness on the Olympic National Forest. The pass offers breathtaking views of Mt. Constance, Del Monte Ridge and Charlie Lake. (U.S. Forest Service)
As I reach the pinnacle of this stretch of trail my heart is racing, my calves are burning, and my face is dripping with perspiration. I feel strong. I remove the pack from my aching shoulders and grab my water bottle. I am refreshed as I gulp it down. This is sweet mountain water that will eventually trickle down to taps in the city below. Up here, it’s clear and icy cold and the only type of water I have consumed during my five-day wilderness experience.
I lower the bottle from my mouth to admire my accomplishments. The top of the mountain pass has rewarded me with spectacular views of surrounding peaks. I feel alone, but not forlorn. I unravel the contents of my pack and begin to set up my final camp. Read more »
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail stretches 2,175 miles from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia. Hikers who choose to explore the entire stretch will go through 14 states and on eight national forests. (U.S. Forest Service)
Earth Day is a reminder that some of our best moments can be spent in the great outdoors.
Getting outside is one of the best ways to feel re-invigorated, whether on a short hike to the Crags Trail on Pike National Forest or on a longer exploration of the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail, which winds through 14 states and across eight national forests.
The range of outdoor activities run the gamut from hiking, camping, boating, bird watching, and experiencing wildlife to photographing nature, hunting and fishing. Read more »
Family of four reading on the grass in front of a tent with tree in background. Photo courtesy of ThinkStock.
What better way to spend a three-day weekend than outside with friends and family? America’s national forests and grasslands offer a wide variety of recreation opportunities ranging from backcountry camping far from civilization to developed picnic areas with all the facilities you need for the perfect end-of-summer barbecue with family and friends.
Of course, there are still fires burning in some areas of the country so check the status of your destination before heading out. Safety is key.
Here are a few ideas to help you plan your weekend: Read more »
Visitors hike on the Siuslaw National Forest section of the Ya’Xaik Trail. U.S. Forest Service photo.
The Alsea were a tribe of Native Americans who, for thousands of years, lived along the central Oregon Coast. In 1901 anthropologist Livingston Farrand predicted their loss in “Notes on the Alsea Indians of Oregon.”
On June 1, the City of Yachats, a small coastal city in Oregon, joined with the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon State Parks to celebrate National Trails Day with a variety of activities, including the dedication of the new Ya’Xaik (pronounced yäh’ khīk) Trail. The trail is named for the only known village of the Alsea people who originally inhabited the area.
This trail is the result of many years of collaborative planning between the City of Yachats, the Siuslaw National Forest, area land owners and many citizen volunteers. Read more »
Trail users of all types take part in a Trails 101 course offered through CoTrails in January 2012 on the Anna Ruby Falls trail. One of the goals of CoTrails is to educate and engage a robust volunteer force to assist with trail maintenance and planning efforts. Photo credit: USDA Forest Service/Judy Toppins
The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests in Georgia receive 2.2 million visitors each year, and their primary activity is use of 850 miles of designated system trails. But it’s not only hikers that take advantage of the recreation opportunities which these trails provide. Cyclists, hunters, anglers, off-highway vehicle enthusiasts and horseback riders all recreate on national forest trails– and they don’t always see eye-to-eye. Read more »